Thursday, June 28, 2012

The lengths to which I’ll go to please my husband

By Beverley Oakley

Reflecting on my 18 years of happy marriage I thought it would be interesting to pinpoint the low points and compare that with what I might have in common with a woman in Regency England. I wanted to write about a once-mutually adoring couple and the challenges their marriage might encounter.

I quickly realised I had nothing in common with my Regency counterpart - other than the happy marriage and the beautiful children. However, it occurred to me that Regency women might have too many beautiful children and simply not know what to do about it. Having 'that' conversation might prove too difficult for some - and so the concept for my new release, Lady Lovett's Little Dilemma was born.

Like Cressida - my heroine in Lady Lovett’s Little Dilemma - I’m an excellent wife. I share Cressida’s pain when she grits her teeth to do her wifely duty - though she adores her husband.

A few months ago, like my heroine, I experienced the pain of juggling my own desires when they ran counter to what I knew would please my husband.

Poor Cressida didn’t know how to begin explaining she was terrified of conceiving a sixth child when she knew their beloved only son and heir was sickly.

I, on the other hand, didn’t know how I could disappoint my excited spouse when he arrived unexpectedly one evening at the train station to pick me up on his BMW motorbike –despite the fact I was wearing a pencil-skirted dress with red and white hibiscuses, and high heels, after a day teaching in Melbourne.

But while Cressida sought help from a mystery benefactress, I chose the nobler course. Ignoring the little local commuter bus that might have delivered me to my front door in dignity, I hitched up my skirts, clambered aboard – I’d never ridden a motorcycle before - and, smilingly, endured the humiliation of zooming through town, pretty much baring all. Yes, the smile became a little weaker when the woman at the petrol bowser next to ours during a fuel stop observed that I was ‘showing quite a lot of leg’, yet I consciously revelled in my shining virtue as I managed to declare with convincing wifely enthusiasm: “What a great ride, darling!”

Cressida has to endure a lot of angst as she constantly weighs up duty and desire with the longer term ramifications. However, she redeems herself by solving the painful 20-year-old mystery which lies behind her misconceptions, pushing for someone else’s happy ending, despite the fact it will scandalise society.

Good old Cressida. She’s timid but you can’t help but admire her ability to grit her teeth and do what she has to do. Like me, she’s an excellent wife.

Here is the blurb:

Eight years of marriage have not dimmed Lady Cressida Lovett’s love for her husband - but the birth of five children have cooled her ardour.
With rumours circulating that the kind, dashing and seemingly ever-patient Lord Lovett has returned to the arms of his former mistress, Cressida believes her choices are stark: welcome her husband back to the marital bed and risk a sixth pregnancy she fears will kill her, or lose him forever.

            With the astonishing discovery that methods exist to enable the innocent        Cressida to transform herself into the vixen of her husband’s dreams without expanding her nursery, she seeks to repay the woman responsible for her empowerment … only to discover her unlikely benefactress was, and perhaps still is, her husband’s mistress.

You can read more about Beverley Oakley’s book by visiting her website:

Twitter: @BeverleyOakley

You can buy Lady Lovett’s Little Dilemma here:

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